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Africa U23 Cup of Nations

Ghana 5-1 Togo: Hat-trick hero Owusu inspires Black Meteors to big win in U23 Afcon qualifiers

2:58 AM SGT 19/12/18
Ghana U20
The Spain-based forward registered a hat-trick to give Ibrahim Tanko's side a first leg advantage

A spirited second-half performance saw Ghana thrash Togo 5-1 in the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

Kwabena Owusu hat-trick and a goal each from Osman Bukari and Yakubu Nassam Ibrahim made little of Thibault Klidje's consolation for the away side at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

The result puts the Black Meteors in a good position to reach the second round of the qualifiers ahead of Saturday's return fixture in Lome.

The winner over two legs will face Gabon in the penultimate round in March next year for a ticket to the final stage in June.

There could be a big reward for playing at the Afcon as the top three teams at the November 8-22 championship in Egypt will represent Africa at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Salamanca striker Owusu opened the scoring for Ghana in the 18th minute while Belarus-based Joel Fameyeh could have powered the hosts' lead to 2-0 if he had succeeded in transforming a 27th-minute penalty.

Five minutes later, Togo hit back with the equaliser through Klidje, who connected to a Yenoussi Guillaume free-kick.

Bukari, however, restored Ghana's lead with a 63rd-minute finish.

Then Owusu scored two quickfire goals in the 72nd and 73rd minutes to put the Meteors 4-1 up.

Substitute Ibrahim eventually sealed the win with a strike five minutes to full-time.

In 2015, Ghana failed to qualify for the Afcon in Senegal, thereby missing the chance to fight for a qualification ticket for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.